Tales of female courage and prudence, power and fortitude run long in the pages of Mughal history. Women who were daughters, who were begums and concubines, led development and won politics from behind the purdah, taking charge under their sultan’s pervasive reign to transform cities and develop military strength. But one out of them, the exceptional Jalâlat-ud-Dîn Raziyâ, altered history by taking over the reins right at the forefront, becoming the first and only woman to rule over the Mughal empire as emperor of Delhi in 1236 AD. The feminine veil was dropped, the chin held high in front of a conservative patriarchal Muslim dynasty, and Razia became sultan instead of sultana (wife or mistress of the emperor).
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